TAIPAN: the AAO's first Starbug positioner and spectrograph

Nuria P. F. Lorente, Kyler Kuehn, Jon S. Lawrence, Carlos Bacigalupo, David Brown, Rebecca Brown, Scott Case, Steve Chapman, Vladimir Churilov, Robert Content, Tony Farrell, Michael Goodwin, Urs Klauser, Slavko Mali, Rolf Muller, Vijay Nichani, Scott Smedley, Minh Vuong, Lew Waller, Ross ZhelemHelen McGregor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstractpeer-review


The AAO’s TAIPAN instrument is a multi-object fibre positioner and spectrograph installed on the 1.2m UK-Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The positioner, a prototype for the MANIFEST positioner on the Giant Magellan Telescope, uses independently controlled Starbug robots to position a maximum of 300 optical fibres on a 32cm glass field plate (for a 6 degree field of view), to an accuracy of 5 microns (0.3 arcsec). The Starbug technology allows multi-object spectroscopy to be carried out with a minimum of overhead between observations, significantly decreasing field configuration time. Over the next 5 years the TAIPAN instrument will be used for two southern-hemisphere surveys: Taipan, a spectroscopic survey of 1x10^6 galaxies at z<0.3, and FunnelWeb, a stellar survey complete to Gaia G=12.5. In this paper we present an overview of the operational TAIPAN instrument: its design, construction and integration, and discuss the 2017 commissioning campaign and science verification results obtained in early 2018.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Luc Simard, Hideki Takami
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
ISBN (Electronic)9781510619586
ISBN (Print)9781510619579
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: 10 Jun 201814 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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